Looking to make pipeline inspection easier and more cost efficient, a team from HiveGround in Thailand, under a project initiated by AI & Robotics Ventures (ARV), designed an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) from scratch. The Xplorer AUV solution is expected to soon be launched and HiveGround will be looking for commercial projects.
Included in Xplorer’s payload is SubC Imaging’s Rayfin smart camera. The subsea camera is programmable and runs an open-source API which will allow them to capture timelapse HD and 4K video and 4K digital stills without the need for real-time control.
Some of the pipelines can reach up to 50 Km between facilities. The current procedure for surveying all of that subsea infrastructure involves deploying a tethered ROV from a costly dynamically positioned (DP) vessel. The Xplorer AUV solution is an untethered, more autonomous vehicle with the goal of being able to travel 100 Km and down to 200 m water depth.
“With this method, we can use a small vessel which saves operational costs compared with using a work class ROV or using a larger vessel.” says Sompol Suntharasantic, an electrical engineer at HiveGround.
Read more about Xplorer and the pipeline inspection in the May 2020 edition of Marine Technology Reporter.
The SubC Autonomous Camera Solution offers all of the same features as our 4K subsea camera, minus the live video feed. Designed for deployments where live video is not possible or required, it’s ideal for collecting timelapse videos and images.
To survey a specific area, simply program the camera using the subsea scripting open-source API to record 4K/HD video and use LED strobe synchronization to capture clear 21MP digital stills. The autonomous imaging system can also control peripherals connected to the camera's aux ports, and because it’s compatible with various batteries, the duration of your deployment is not an issue.